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7 Foods That Stop Hair Growth

By | hair + beauty, health + fitness | No Comments

 
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As naturals we have many things to worry about when it comes to our hair, and growth. We try dozens of different products  to find the golden one that works just right for us. We obsess over length, and pitch a fit when our stylist cuts off one inch too much! One factor many naturals have not included in the journey to long hair, that could be stopping their hair from growing to its full potential, diet. What we put into our bodies is even more important than what we put on our bodies. Here are seven foods that could be stopping your hair from growing!
1. Alcohol
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Alcohol consumption raises the level of estrogen we have in our body, which can cause hair loss. Alcohol also lowers the levels of zinc in our body which is needed for hair growth, which can stunt hair growth. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to less hair growth, as well as excessive hair loss. Drinking occasionally is fine, however excessive alcohol consumption is bad for your hair, body, and overall health.
2. Carbonated Drinks 
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Caffeine and sugar filled carbonated drinks can be very detrimental when it comes to your hair growth. Soft drinks contain excessively high amounts of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, as well as caffeine that all contribute to drying out hair and skin. Natural hair is already dry due to the time its takes natural oils to travel down the scalp. When you add caffeine and sugar filled drinks to the mix, it is a recipe for disaster. To avoid excessive dryness, and hair loss avoid drinking soft drinks on a regular basis.
3. High Fructose Corn Syrup
hfcsYou probably aren’t consuming high fructose corn syrup on its own, but it is in just about every processed junk food and sugary drink there is. Large consumption of high fructose corn syrup can cause serious health issues and hair loss.
4. Sugar 
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Having large amounts of sugar in your diet can cause the bacteria in your body to be off balanced. Not enough of the good bacteria our bodies need can cause hair to stop growing, as well as thin and fall out.
5. White Rice
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White rice is a food that has high glycemic-index which creates excessive amounts of insulin in the body which can result in hair loss. Opt for less rice or brown rice instead.
6. White Bread
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White bread also falls  under the high glycemic-index . If you can, avoid bread as much as possible. If you absolutely have to have  bread, opt for wheat bread.
7. Salt
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Salt contains a ton of sodium, which can cause hair to shed, as well as a slew of health issues. Try to ingest less salt. The Institute of Medicine recommends 1500 mg of sodium per day. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water.
Here are a few articles you need to check out!

Will you be eliminating these foods from your diet?
Ashley Renee is a licensed esthetician, Mac makeup artist, natural hair enthusiast, writer and poet from Chicago, follow her on Instagram @Ashleyvsrenee!

11 Reasons You Should Spend More Time in the Sun this Winter

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Even though dropping temperatures call for sweaters, hot chocolate, and cuddling by the fireplace, it’s important to get exposure to the sun when you can.  Sun rays are vital resources when it comes to overall health and happiness so we shouldn’t disregard the sun simply because it’s too cold out.
However, during the colder seasons it is especially difficult to get premium sun exposure that actually promotes the production of vitamin D because in many northern regions, UVB rays are much weaker, and in some areas, non existent. It’s important to stock up on UVB rays while the sun is still shining to reap the benefits of sun exposure.
Here are 10 Reasons why you should dedicate time each day to spend outside in the sun:
1. It can boost your mood from increasing your body’s production of serotonin.
2. Can lower the risk of heart disease which is believed to be related to vitamin D deficiency.
3. Can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure levels also related to lower risk of heart disease.
4. Lower the risk of diabetes Vitamin D deficiency is believed to be a factor in the development of type II diabetes, while sufficient vitamin D exposure is thought to prevent the onset of type I diabetes.
5. Can help to counter Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is a depressive disorder caused by lack of sunlight.
6. Can be a sourse of pain relief as the sun provides heat to body muscles.
7. Reduce the risk of non skin related cancers Though, over exopsure to the sun is thought to contribute to the onset of skin cancer.
8. Can boost fertility by decreasing the body’s level of melatonin and delaying menopause.
9. Can boost energy levels also related to reduced levels of melatonin, a sleep inducing chemical.
10. Boost immunity by promoting white blood cell production.
11. Help with weight loss An increased production of serotonin also suppresses appetite, which helps regulate weight.
 
If you don’t already spend time each day out out in the sun, try taking daily walks or participate in outdoor Winter sports. You can also include more foods in your diet that are rich in vitamin D including fish, shrimp, oysters, tofu, and soy milk.
How do you find time for the sun everyday? 

Six Steps to Detoxing for Fall

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Fall is known for fabulous fashion, funky hair, and food, food, food. Sweet potato, and pumpkin pies, dressing, and macaroni, are a few that come to mind. After all, you no longer have to fit into that teeny tiny bikini, wedding season is over, and you can hide that extra ten pounds under a gorgeous new cardigan sweater, right? Wrong! What better time to detox your body, of all of the skinny girl margaritas, carnival food, and overall junk you have consumed over the summer, then fall? Detoxing can be tough, but the final outcome is very gratifying. Here are six steps to detoxing the right way!

1. Do your research!
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Please don’t be the women that gets wheeled out on a stretcher at work because you passed out after trying a lemonade, hot sauce, bean diet, your girlfriend told you about! Every detox diet you hear about is not necessarily a healthy one. Detoxing should assist in cleansing and renewing your body, detoxing is not about starving yourself to lose weight. Weight loss does come from detoxing, but the overall goal should be cleansing. Read books on detoxing, ask experts, and speak to your doctor, see what route is best for you, before jumping into anything.
 
2. Ease into it
 

 
For detoxing to truly be effective, you can’t binge on hot dogs and hamburgers the night before. You should already be eating healthy foods before you detox. Eliminate salty, sugary, and processed foods at least two weeks before you begin to detox. Replace unhealthy meals with fruits and vegetables, and of course drink plenty of water. This will make it easier for your body to clean itself out. Remember the more water you drink, the better.
 
3. Choose your detox
 

 
Know what exactly it is that you are trying to detox. Are you doing it to kick start a healthier overall lifestyle? Do you want to rid your body of toxins? Do you simply want a quick cleanse? Many people who have never detoxed before, start off with a quick three day detox. Three day detoxes can include anything from only drinking water for three days, to only eating raw fruits or vegetables. Detoxes can be merely cutting out alcohol, and processed foods or temporarily switching to a juice diet or fruit diet. Figure out which detox will work best for you, and stick with it.
 
4. Cut off the TV
 
 

For some people it is easier than others. Have you ever watched television, and not been hungry at all, but by the time you were finished watching your program, you were craving Pizza Hut, Mcdonalds, and Dunkin Donuts? Detoxing is tough, you are already craving your favorite foods. The last thing anyone detoxing needs are constant reminders of their favorite foods, every five minutes via commercial. Do yourself a favor, and avoid television as much as possible during your detox. Instead, try doing something good for yourself, like working on a hobby, exercising, or reading.
 
5. Be around positive friends and family
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There is nothing that can ruin a positive thing, more than a negative person. Some people seem to be natural downers, and never have anything good to say about you, or the positive things you are trying or doing in your life. “Those detoxes don’t work.” They might say. “I don’t know why you are trying to detox, you won’t lose any weight.” If you have friends or family members that spew out negativity, avoid them during this time. Surround yourself with friends and family, that support you. If you can get a friend or two to participate with you, that will be even better, a strong support system, is always a good thing.
 
6. Be consistent
 
 
If you want to do a detox for two weeks, and Thanksgiving, a best friends wedding, or the fall foods festival, you go to every single year, falls within that two weeks, you might want to reconsider. If you know that there are circumstances that you most likely will crack under, try instead to do it for a shorter time or reschedule. In order for a detox to work, you can not do it for two days, eat bad for two days, then continue detoxing. Give yourself time, and allow yourself to start when you are ready, it is better to start a little later than you planned, as opposed to starting and quitting. Know that it is all about will power, and you are the only thing standing in your way!
 
 Will you be trying a detox this fall?
Ashley Renee is a licensed esthetician, professional makeup artist, natural hair enthusiast, writer and poet from Chicago, follow her on Instagram @Ashleyvsrenee!

Last Minute Halloween Treats and Sweets

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These simple Halloween recipes will get you through your last minute party planning. In 5 or less ingredients each, you will be sure to impress your guests with these ghoulish and tastey treats!
 

Gobblin Short Bread (Recipe by marthastewart.com)
You will need:

  • Pizza dough (store bought or homemade)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Roll out dough, and use a paring knife, scissors, or cookie cutters to create features (we used crescent, football, and diamond shapes). Brush with oil, and sprinkle with salt. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

 
Bloody Black Currant Punch (Recipe by delish.com)
You will need:
  • 1 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 cup black currant nectar
  • 1 1/2 cup cold seltzer

Directions
Stir brandy and sugar in a large bowl. Add nectar; stir to combine. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. Punch can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days. Add seltzer just before serving.
 
 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread (Recipe by bhg.com)
You will need:

  • 8 oz pack of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Directions:
Beat all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Makes 1-1/2 cups (24, 1-tablespoon servings).

tgin Shelfie Contest – Win a $100 Target Gift Card this Weekend

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winWe’re kicking off this weekend with our first Thank God It’s Natural (tgin) Target shelfie contest. When you’re out shopping this weekend at your local Target, remember to:

1) Take a picture of the shelf (extra credit if you’re in the pic holding the products) and post it to Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter

2) Hashtag the photo #tgintarget 

3) Shout out your city!

Contest ends at 11:59 pm CST. Winner will be judged based on their creativity and originality! Video entries are also eligible.  Family members of tgin employees not eligible for entry. 

tgin products are now carried at select Target stores nationwide, Target.com, your local health and beauty supply store, Amazon.com, and www.tginstore.com. For a complete list of Target stores carrying tgin products, click here.

Here are just a few of some of our favorite entries from this weekend:

Waldorf, MD

Brunswick

4_juicy Dorchester NaturallyQuay

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tgin Now in Target Stores Nationwide

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silvr Target IGv2_2_done (2)On March 1st, the tgin Moist Collection for Natural Hair rolled out to select Target stores nationwide. We are in the process of updating our store locator with a list of stores, but it should be available for viewing by this Wednesday.  Note,  some lucky customers have been fortunate enough to find us on March 1st.  If you recently visited Target and didn’t see us, please be patient as it may take up to 2 weeks to  find us at YOUR store, but we promise we’re on the way!

Our customer service team is on standby  to answer all of your  tgin and Target questions on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, so please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Again, we need your support in order to make this a success. Getting into Target is one thing. Staying there is another. To that end, we’re calling on all of our friends, family, fans, and followers to make a purchase before May 1, 2015. One thing. Anything. It all counts. If you’re on social media, be sure to snap a shelfie (a photo in front of the shelf), post what city you’re in, and tag it #tgintarget, so that we can repost and let others know where to find our products.
As we continue on this journey, you should feel free to watch the story unfold. We have chronicled all the blood, sweat and tears, on my blog under tgin + news.
Thank you again for your support, prayers, kind words. The journey has only just begun.
Stay natural,
Chris-Tia
#tgintarget

5 Amazing Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar in Natural Hair

By | hair + beauty, health + fitness | No Comments

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Apple cider vinegar is amazing for natural hair! Apple cider vinegar can help cleanse, grow, condition, and color natural hair. The acidic levels in apple cider vinegar  are very mild and closely mimic those in natural hair, which makes it great for hair cleansing, and conditioning. Here are five great uses and benefits of apple cider vinegar for natural hair.
 
1. Drink it for Clear Scalp
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Drinking apple cider vinegar is great for hair, and skin. if you are suffering from eczema, psoriasis, flaky scalp, or dandruff, drinking diluted apple cider vinegar can help. Apple cider vinegar is rich in vitamins C, B1, A, and many more vitamins that aid in health, and the overall beauty of our bodies. To see long term benefits, mix one tablespoon of ACV in 8 ounces of water, and drink daily
2. Condition for Shiny Hair
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If you are suffering from dry, dull hair, a good remedy is an apple cider vinegar rinse. Apple cider vinegar adds shine to dry dull hair, and removes the residue of shampoo. Mix one half cup of apple cider vinegar and half of a cup of water. Apply the rinse to your hair for 10 to 20 minutes and cover your hair with a plastic cap. Follow up by shampooing and conditioning with tgin’s Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo and Triple Moisture Replenishing Conditioner. Your hair will appear much more shiny and full of life.
 
3. Dandruff, Psoriasis, and Eczema Rinse 
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If you suffer from any of the above skin conditions, apple cider vinegar can help. Apply apple cider vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil to scalp. The acids in the apple cider vinegar, and antibacterial properties in tea tree oil, work as an extra strength dandruff treatment getting rid of the bad bacteria. This can be used once or twice a week until scalp is clear. If your scalp currently has excessive cuts, or bleeding do not use.
4. Hair rinse
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For a deep cleanse, you can use apple cider vinegar in place of your shampoo. You can apply 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil to 1/2 of apple cider vinegar. We recommend lemon, lavender, rosemary, grapefruit, orange, or lemon grass essential oil. Then mix with 2 cups of water. Wash your hair as you normally would. The apple cider vinegar rinse gives hair a deep cleaning. Great for after you’ve taken braids down, or if you need a very good cleanse. This hair rinse shouldn’t exceed twice a month,.
5. Hair Color
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If you are a part of the many natural women who use henna to color their hair, this is something you must try! Mixing 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your henna hair color helps bring out the color, as well as adds a beautiful shine to your hair color!
 
Here are a few articles you need to check out!
 

Have you used apple cider vinegar for your hair before?
Ashley Renee is a licensed esthetician, Mac makeup artist, natural hair enthusiast, writer and poet from Chicago, follow her on Instagram @Ashleyvsrenee!

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Five Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

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One thing I have been doing a lot of lately, is waking up super early. With all of the many blessings that have come with me obtaining Target, comes a lot of early mornings, and late nights. It is imperative for me to stay energized throughout the day. I find myself drinking lemon water a lot these days and for good reason. Lemon water has so many great benefits, and I am loving the results!

Here are the top benefits of drinking lemon water!

 

1. Brain Boost
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Yes! Lemons actually help your brain function. The potassium found in lemons increases the functionality of your brain. Foods rich in potassium give you a clear mind, and allow you to perform at your best.

 

2. Weight Loss
Who doesn’t want to shed a few pounds? The lemon in water, helps you feel more full,than just drinking water, so you are less likely to binge on breakfast. Lemon also contains pectin fiber. Pectin fiber helps stop hunger cravings.

 

3. Healthy immune system
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Being a business owner, the last thing I can afford to do is get sick! Lemon juice contains loads of vitamin c, which helps to fight against sickness and stress.

 

4. Keeps your skin clear
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I’m out and about a lot and run into a lot of people! Keeping my skin clear,and appearance on point is not only important to me, but to my brand. Lemons are great for skin in general. The antioxidants in lemons help fight against acne, wrinkles, and can be applied directly to age spots and scarring, to help fade them, and even out your appearance.

 

5. System cleanse
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If you are looking for a good cleanse, lemon is perfect. Lemons help get rid of any toxins in your system, and gives your body an overall cleanse!
Will you be trying lemon water?

The Perfect Cranberry Juice Smoothie Recipe

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Cranberries aren’t just a great side dish for your dressing. We’re also are loving cranberry juice smoothies. Cranberry juice smoothies are perfect for detoxing your body. Cranberries are packed with vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber. They also help in preventing urinary tract infections, cancer, heart disease, and help boost your immune system. This recipe not only tastes delicious it’s also healthy for you, which is a double plus! It takes less than 10 minutes to make, which makes it even easier to serve up for your friends and family this holiday season.
 
1. 1 cup of cranberries
2. 1  frozen banana
3. 1 tsp of vanilla extract
4. 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
5. 1 cup of almond milk
 
Blend all ingredients together and enjoy your chilled, cranberry juice smoothie. Perfect for the holidays!

Will you be trying this smoothie recipe for the holidays?

Ashley Renee is a licensed esthetician, Mac makeup artist, natural hair enthusiast, writer and poet from Chicago,living in L.A. Follow her on Instagram @Ashleyvsrenee!

This Week's Smoothie: Strawberry Ginger Green Smoothie

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Add some zing to your smoothies with this  smoothie recipe from simplegreensmoothies.com
Serves 2

Ingredients 

2 cups of fresh spinach

1 banana

2 cups of fresh strawberries

*2 cups almond milk

1 tablespoon of grated ginger

You can use water, regular milk or coconut milk instead.

Directions

Blend all the almond milk and spinach first. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and enjoy!

 
 

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